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Sony 9 coming - better get started, CaNikon...

Sony A9; Nasim Mansourov

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#21 dave's clichés

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 08:40 AM

  More thoughts as more info arrives.......

 

    One way that the Sony A9 has trouble competing as a "sports camera" and falls down, is with it's DR  IQ  when using the electronic shutter, the camera automatically drops into 12 bit uncompressed RAW files in this mode.

 

  Only when shooting with the mechanical shutter can you use 14 bit RAW files, and that means shooting at "5 Fps or less"!

 

   I used to shoot 12 bit with the Nikon D7100 to get more shots from it's paltry buffer (8 images) the difference between those and the 14 bit files (5 images) was for the most part not great, but as a matter of good sense 14 bit give a whole lot more dynamic range.

 

   The data stream must be enormous at 20 Fps and there's a lot going in there, to read the sensor (at it's highest speed 1/32,000 sec.) and then spit it all out, whilst feeding the non black out viewfinder, a very neat trick indeed.......it's just it's not able to do it in 14 bit mode.(yet)

 If it's just a question of buffer size, (240 12 Bit RAW images) an option could have been to have say, a 100 shot buffer in 14 bit, but maybe it isn't just the buffer, it could be the shear data flow and number of processing actions at high speed which forced Sony engineers to limit the whole "shabang" to their old criticized 12 bit format which they were forced to abandon. 

    The "silent shutter mode" was one where wedding photographers pricked up their ears, but, to use it you are again in electronic shutter mode, wedding images need the best IQ  so that feature comes at a price, 12 bit RAW  That to me spells Hmmm!

 

   So if you are happy enough with 12 bit images, which for the most part have adequate IQ, especially for sports at 24 Mps, then this isn't an issue once you have found a sports lens to mount on it...........

 

           ................but "no other sports DSLR" is limited to this!

 

 

   A huge technological step for mankind??  maybe......but it looks like you will have to wait for the A10 (or later) for the real deal!



#22 JoJu

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 10:03 AM

Thanks, dave, for breaking the radio silence in this lazy forum  :lol:

 

Well, the D300(s) also falls short compared to D500, so development is always involved - at least, Sony IS developing. Nikon not even has a silent shutter for 1 fps  :D Not to speak of other developments like cutting card-slots out of new bodies.

 

Also, another downside are the "fake" 1/32000 shutter speed, a misinterpretation I also made for the Fuji - and no manufacturer clearly states the kind of X-sync speed for electronic shutter, which is the time the sensor needs for one complete readout. Meanwhile I think, this kind of "many thousands of a second" as sort of ND filter for fast lenses. Real high speed needs fast flash-guns.

 

And the next downside was the failing AF-C. Although this could be the problem of wrong handling or set up, the videos about that athletic event (which is a cool move of Sony) showed a bit too much of missed focus.

 

2 minutes writing time after a long burst of RAWs and only one of two SD card slots is UHS II And where are the superfast XQD-card-slots? I guess, so rarely to find in shops that Sony just made a practical decision. It would have been a cool move to use the two slots alternating and get 50 % savings in writing time. Yes, if one card get broken you would miss half the shots.

 

But first, weddings don't require 20 fps and can deal with the second card as a backup, second 10 fps is still not bad. Should be very easy to write even frame numbers to slot 2 and odd numbers to slot 1. But it doesn't have an USB-C connector, so downloading has to happen over LAN

 

I think, specs are one part, real life another and after a while the dust settles a bit and the hype has to focus on the next "crazy hot shit". Like an α9 R or α9 S (higher Resolution / higher ISO). Trouble is, CaNikon now only can rely on their long glass (and also other specialities, sure). In terms of speed and AF-coverage they are just not on par. Even the models for 2 k$ more than Sony's offer.

 

Videos with blown highlights was Jordan's (of Camera Store) great concern and the missed F-log or other profiles, too - so, Sony managed to put enough stuff wrongly in or not at all to make us talk about. Each talk is basically good for them, no?

 

Downsides aside the α9 (and I wonder that no reviewer knows Greek αlphabet  :lol: , so far all were dumb enough to talk about "the new A 9)) this thing has to offer a lot. The competition is not even close this kind of finder, AF point coverage, versatility, electronic shutter which is not delivering noticeable banding inside a sports hall. They made a lot of things right, kudos for that.

 

We didn't even talk about the battery grip with two more standard batteries - there's either the exceptional huge Nikon D5 type or the pretty normal, quickly drowned in liveview or filming EN-EL15 from Nikon, but no grip from Nikon comes with two. Underneath a Fuji, that grip gives an adequate amount of additional use and advantages and is well designed. Nikon on the contrary is now in my perception offering accessories which make things worse for a steep price. GPS-receiver, microphone, grip: expensive and badly done. Glass - partly great at steep prices. But where Tamron or Sigma swim in the same waters, alternatives are cheaper and not worse, but partly better than the genuine stuff.

 

I'm observing the developments of Nikon with interest, but they have to fly to the moon first before I open my wallet again for their offers.



#23 dave's clichés

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 11:20 AM

Yeah Nikon's accessories are just ridiculous!

 

Nikon has to get it's game together for the oncoming onslaught from ML.

 

  So there is still to prove from the A9......however..

 

 

 

 If I was choosing a viewfinder? it would be the A9's!

 

 If I was choosing a 20 Fps shooing speed? the A9's would do it. 

 

 If I was choosing 12 bit Raw? 

 

 I would need a checkup from the neck up!  :D  :P 

 

 



#24 JoJu

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 12:44 PM

I'm no sports photographer, but the idea of going through post production with some thousands of pictures (shot in RAW only) from an invent is not very attractive to me - even if I had to choose the "decisive" moment out of 50 shots from one situation, then the next 30 and so on. Although the camera shoots a fast series, I'm not that fast to decide. If I could, I just need to push the trigger at the right moment...

 

So, I doubt this machine will produce Terabyte of RAWs in a typcial scenario - or go for RAW + JPG, being the RAW the insurance to correct blown highlights.

 

And between 8bit JPG and 12bit RAW still is a bigger difference than between 12 or 14 bit RAW. I think I will see the α9 as an action camera. There will be also a successor for the α7RII and then we can talk again about resolution and 14 bit. What do you think?



#25 dave's clichés

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 01:32 PM

  I think it's just a pity to put an inherent shortcoming into a camera at this price point.

   I would also say that it had a good market potential with wedding photographers.... we will have to see what the response to this 12 bit business will be, and we mustn't forget how many criticized 12 bit in the earlier cameras..Sony introduced 14 bit....and then....... they take it away again!

 

   We have another "now you see it now you don't" scenario.

 

 Ultimately 14 bit will have to become standard across the board and at a time when when some are going 16 bit, shooting at 6.5 Fps my D750 has better IQ for example. 

 

BTW. I think Tony Northrup was using the wrong SD card slot...another tester got 220 images with the buffer clearing in 36 seconds using the correct one.



#26 JoJu

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 02:26 PM

Northrup said, he used the fastest card Sony provided. Which doesn't say anything about slot or card problems  ;)

 

Thinking about my learning curves on some features (not this card slot thing), it's quite bold from Sony's side to put a couple of cameras into the hands of participants of a press release and let them play around a few hours - the first day they could not keep the pictures. When I rented the D810 to try it, I also tried the highlight spot metering. I didn't knew better. Based on that experience, I should not have bough it because it didn't react the expected way  ^_^



#27 dave's clichés

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 07:19 PM

    Tony Northrup released an addendum video correcting his unexpected buffer clearing times, it's 36 seconds.

 

  Results and images are barreling in showing from the testers/users of the camera's  AF-C capabilities, and it looks for all the world to be....... astonishing!!.  

     20 Fps looks almost like video and even with subjects running full speed towards the camera, there's barely a missed shot.....out of hundreds!

 Even runners arms in front of faces are not spoiling focus, as long as they don't hide the face too long, many including me, had doubts about the AF but they seem to be unfounded. There does however remain some rolling shutter effects, but even that is less than other e shutter cameras.

  We will see better results when there is a decent RAW converter available.

 

   

    Canon is still way behind but "en route"  Nikon is still standing at the bus stop. We are going to see a few years of fireworks before us......

               .........let's enjoy the ride!



#28 toni-a

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 08:59 PM

     

    Canon is still way behind but "en route"  Nikon is still standing at the bus stop. We are going to see a few years of fireworks before us......

               .........let's enjoy the ride!

 

I don't see things that way, having the technological edge doesn't mean winning, Sony won't attract professionals  before having professional level service, that means being able to repair gear efficiently and quickly back to new condition without compromising the professional's work by offering him replacement gear during repairs.

As long as they are not into that, they're not investing in the optimal place. Canon and Nikon are getting the job done very well (till now) and as long as they are able of achieving this they will stay the winneers



#29 JoJu

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 09:55 PM

Toni, you're no professional as far as I know, so leave that bit about the professional service to the persons who really need and use it. I can say that I have an NPS card from Nikon Switzerland, which exactly does nothing except bringing the Nikon News each 3 months in my letterbox.

 

All the times Nikon had to repair their well designed bugs in the Service-Centers: D750 finder problem, white spots problem, D800 AF module problem, and the fabulous 300/4 PF E VR problem Nikon didn't offer me a rental product. I had to ask for it. The 85/1.4 G in repair was not replaced by a rental item although I had to wait weeks for the defect AF-drive.

 

This is in Switzerland where money usually is no big issue. I guess, the Nikon center pampers few full time pros, but for the rest of us there's no advantage coming with this NPS membership. I doubt Sony will do worse than that.

 

However I agree, technological edge doesn't mean winning (what exactly do you think they want to win - ruling the photographic world?  :D ). But a wedding camera without shutter sound in FF? At the moment the missing of long FL is the only rescue boat CaNikon has left.

 

And as dave points out brilliantly, Nikon is still waiting at the bus station. To me it just remains unclear if they can read the timetable or are at least at the right bus line waiting.

 

The decent RAW converter will be Capture One. All Sony Alpha 7 bring a special version of C1 with them, debatable one of the best available converters around. The Alpha 9 is nothing for me, simply too fast to be of use - but Sony shows the other guys very decently what is possible in mirrorless bodies. let's see what the boys will answer to that.



#30 dave's clichés

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 09:58 PM

It's true that Sony's reliability reputation is not so great, but there's also been quite a few hiccups from Nikon, (sorry I don't follow Canon),

 

    However, there is one overriding factor in Sony's favour........ the lack of moving mechanical parts, the A9 has only the mechanical shutter to cause problems, the rest is essentially electronic, if you shoot eshutter for example there's no shutter/mirror  life issues and nothing really to prevent you blazing away on the shutter like a maniac.Couple that with no VF blackout and you have check you are not dreaming!

  

 

  I have to admit I was doubtful that Sony (or anybody) would essentially nail the AF situation in the sports arena in this radically short time scale, especially as I shoot the D500......... all that is not yet tested is AF in low light situations, looking at the exposures Sony did a pretty good job lighting the gymnasiums.

 

  Soon the lenses will be there and I see it that it will be difficult to stop the ball rolling.

 

  PS. My guess is that Nikon have seen the bus coming but forget to put their hand out and just watch it drive by!  ;)

 

  Once a design is up and running it's not beyond the realm of possibilities to use robotic assembly, surely that can't be far off!



#31 Klaus

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 07:58 AM

CaNikon are old companies - the mirrorless gang are disruptors. And it's the fast that eats the slow ...
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#32 JoJu

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:01 AM

Because leopards use to eat turtles...  :D



#33 Klaus

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 11:05 AM

Because leopards use to eat turtles...  :D

 

Yes

 


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#34 obican

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 01:34 PM

 

    However, there is one overriding factor in Sony's favour........ the lack of moving mechanical parts, the A9 has only the mechanical shutter to cause problems, the rest is essentially electronic, if you shoot eshutter for example there's no shutter/mirror  life issues and nothing really to prevent you blazing away on the shutter like a maniac.

 

All is not that well in Sony-land, mostly due to their excellent team (of interns who work for 3 months and go back to school I presume) responsible for the software.

 

Let me tell you a actually rather common bug that you won't read in the reviews. The dreadful EVF/LCD sensor.

 

It is well known and documented that this little sensor is horribly excited and switches over to EVF if a truck passes by behind the camera, two streets away. There is more to this story though. The sensor responsible for the switchover never shuts off.

 

Short of removing the battery, there is no reliable way of turning that thing off, it drains batteries continiously, especially if something is blocking the sensor (like putting down the camera with the lens pointing up or inside a bag). This is why most owners report battery drain overnight and very sub-optimal battery life during shooting, because their camera is drawing current from the battery even when it's turned off if the EVF is against your body or the camera is inside a bag.

 

There are reports of uninstalling and reinstalling the Remote Control App (Wireless control via phone tablet etc) fixes this. However, in order to do that, I have to update the firmware which will bring me more problems because now the aperture won't stay open during focusing due to another feature implemented via firmware.

 

You see, Sony may have no moving parts but they have still found ways to make the camera owning experience frustrating, especially when you consider Sony won't fix any issues related to the older but still in production cameras like the first A7 series.

 

Service won't be able to do anything because this is purely a software issue. 

 

 

Meanwhile, my Hasselblad and girlfriend's Rolleicord with all those moving parts are spending time in the hands of a qualified serviceman to ensure a few more decades of contuniued performance.

 

It's not the lack of existence of moving parts, it's the mentality pretty much all modern companies have. The mentality that the customer should be forced to get rid of their gear for new ones as often as possible, by any means necessary. 



#35 JoJu

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 01:59 PM

Software problems are one thing, electronic and electric another. And actually, it doesn't need all problems at once to make working with a camera awful.

 

Dow we as consumers and users have a choice to manifest "we rather pay for quality than for highest possible specs"? I mean in another way to express than our purse?

 

Be it Fuji, Nikon, Sigma, Gitzo, Apple, Arca - doesn't matter: Although people are saying "Fuji is listening" (or any other brand, I never had access when I wanted to address a weird issue. Especially the first three brands have at some point the standard reply "Thank you for bothering us and delivering your money, now will you please shut up, we need to make the next plan how to squeeze more juice of this user lemons".



#36 obican

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

Be it Fuji, Nikon, Sigma, Gitzo, Apple, Arca - doesn't matter: Although people are saying "Fuji is listening" (or any other brand, I never had access when I wanted to address a weird issue. 

 

Some of those brands are better at solving/avoiding some issues locally. 

 

For example, Fujifilm has quite good support here where I live (Istanbul/Turkey). They also have (free of charge, mind you) workshops where you can use any of their cameras and all their lenses for a whole day on street. So you can figure out what it's like to actually use their cameras in the field. Actually that's how I realized how awful Fuji's metering in real world and my gf decided that X-T10 with its tilt screen is more practical than X-E2. 

 

Even Sony has a concept store here whose sole purpose is to let you try their equipment. They don't even sell anything there, you just go in, take any camera and lens combo you want and give them a try. You can even take them outside for a few minutes, they are very lovely people. They even offered me free sensor cleaning when I ran into them in an event and take the (then new) A7S out for a try while my sensor is getting cleaned.

 

On the other hand, you want a Canon 5DSR? Good luck finding one to try, even for a few minutes. You heard the focus on the new Nikon D500 is great, can you try it with your favorite Sigma lens? Not here you can't. You have to trust on the reviews or find a way to rent the camera.

 

Actual tech support also depends on the localization, a lot. Of course no amount of localization will help anyone solve any global issues like Sony battery drain or Nikon left AF, but at least a good one will put some effort into dealing with you somehow. And maybe replace the peeling grip and the missing hot shoe cover while they're at it.



#37 JoJu

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 09:46 PM

I cannot talk about Sony Switzerland. Nikon does not provide an own rental service, just a kind of inofficial replacement for products in maintenance. I can rent Nikon lenses or bodies from several dealers, but if I want new stuff, I have to wait. The 105/1.4 G is not easy to get.

 

Fuji allows people on certain events to take lenses outside and snap a bit around. I did so with the 56/1.2 APD, pleasing bokeh. And later on I found out, in darkness the focus of this lens really sucks. Nobody told me it's a "bokeh rules" only lense.

 

Sigma lenses I also can rent for 10% of the sales price / week, 2nd week 5%. And if I decide to buy it, they bill me only 90% of the sales price. Let's see: 1690.- CHF for the 85/1.4A, 90% of that = 1521.- CHF, tempting? Official pice of my dealer is 1198.- I actually have no idea why Sigma CH thinks people don't know how to make a price research. To compare: The Nikon 85/1.4 G I can get for 175.- a week, so that appears to be fair.

 

And because I'm curious how good this bloody Sigma really is, I just placed a rental order.



#38 toni-a

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 06:59 AM

Some of those brands are better at solving/avoiding some issues locally. 

 

For example, Fujifilm has quite good support here where I live (Istanbul/Turkey). They also have (free of charge, mind you) workshops where you can use any of their cameras and all their lenses for a whole day on street. So you can figure out what it's like to actually use their cameras in the field. Actually that's how I realized how awful Fuji's metering in real world and my gf decided that X-T10 with its tilt screen is more practical than X-E2. 

 

Even Sony has a concept store here whose sole purpose is to let you try their equipment. They don't even sell anything there, you just go in, take any camera and lens combo you want and give them a try. You can even take them outside for a few minutes, they are very lovely people. They even offered me free sensor cleaning when I ran into them in an event and take the (then new) A7S out for a try while my sensor is getting cleaned.

 

On the other hand, you want a Canon 5DSR? Good luck finding one to try, even for a few minutes. You heard the focus on the new Nikon D500 is great, can you try it with your favorite Sigma lens? Not here you can't. You have to trust on the reviews or find a way to rent the camera.

 

Actual tech support also depends on the localization, a lot. Of course no amount of localization will help anyone solve any global issues like Sony battery drain or Nikon left AF, but at least a good one will put some effort into dealing with you somehow. And maybe replace the peeling grip and the missing hot shoe cover while they're at it.

 

Well it's a marketing and promotional thing, Fuji Lebanon allows you to try their gear in the shop.

For Canon and Nikon only professionals can try  flagship higher end models , they organize big launching events  where  professionals can try the products in real life studio settings with professional models and professional studio lighting , with demonstrations etc...

They known which population to target ...



#39 JoJu

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:54 AM

Yes

 

 

since when is a jaguar a leopard? <_<

 

:lol:



#40 Klaus

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 01:08 PM

Details, details ... ;-)


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